Douglas E. Oakman

The Radical Jesus, the Bible, and the Great Transformation

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The Radical Jesus offers a companion to the author's previous article collection Jesus and the Peasants. Even more than in Jesus and the Peasants, these eleven chapters sharpen the focus on the political-economic meaning of Jesus then and the deeper values embodied in him that perhaps are still pertinent for now. Part One considers his activities and aims within the political economy of first-century Galilee. Part Two offers perspectives on the critical hermeneutical task of linking the values of Jesus and the Bible to a world that has undergone what Karl Polanyi called the Great Transformation. Polanyi argued suasively in his 1944 book that economy in the pre-industrial age was embedded in social relations and served necessary social purposes, while society after the Great Transformation became embedded within market capitalist economy to the detriment of social relations. This book finds in sustained critical dialog with the Radical Jesus another transforming force and a guiding light toward a more humane economy and society that will serve human need rather than selfish greed.
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381 printed pages
Original publication
2021

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